The Anxiety of the Internet

“My name is Anna and I was diagnosed 1.5 weeks ago with Ductal Carcinoma In Situ (DCIS).⁠ I am 28 years old.⁠

My whole life I’ve been an optimistic person. And by optimistic, I mean, “No dwelling, everything serves a higher purpose” attitude. I genuinely can’t remember a time not being this way (my husband can vouch 😀). ⁠

However, the last week and a half has changed my track record. It has been extremely challenging mentally. Just a constant tug of war throughout the day: “How? Why? Focus! Breathe, be grateful you caught it early. ⁠

Wait, but how? Why? Stop! Breathe, be grateful. But, how? Why? Ugh. Naptime.” This has created loads of anxiety to start with, and I found that the internet exacerbated my anxiety dramatically. I am always going down rabbit holes on Google and Google Scholar (nerdy fun). But, a rabbit hole on cancer = NO bueno. And it’s easy to fall down that hole. I don’t really know what I was looking for when I first searched “DCIS”.

Maybe I should’ve used better keywords to narrow down topics…but, what did I even want to read? I didn’t know until I was referred to this LearnLookLocate page, that I realized I wanted to read other’s stories. It felt emotionally satisfying, which for me during the first week, was more impactful than pure information. The stories feel more real here….less article-y (for lack of a better word).⁠

Plus, I felt so encouraged after speaking to Cynthia and family and friends. I felt more emotionally grounded and in control when researching the internet for specific topics. The emotional aspects of this experience CANNOT be ignored. ⁠

The internet itself hasn’t provided me emotional relief, but talking to others has. ⁠

This goes for caretakers also. My husband has been holding my hand tightly and that feels more comforting than any piece of information right now. ⁠
Anna ⁠